As a minister of the gospel, one thing I like to do is preach. I love declaring the goodness and grace of God. So when I turned down the offer to preach at a church in Masindi, Uganda while on holiday (That’s British English for vacation), I surprised myself. However, I was asked to preach about 16 hours prior to the start of the worship service & had no relationship with the pastor. So I felt as if I needed to wait.
I waited and waited. . . one whole week to preach my first sermon in Uganda. I was conversing with a pastor friend here at New Hope and was telling him about our experience at that church in Masindi. He then asked me to preach after mentioning that he liked it when people preached for him. At first I said, “No.” But then I realized there were not too many Sundays remaining before we moved to Kampala. So, I changed my mind and agreed to preach at Vine Branch Community Church near Kiwoko.
I chose Mark 9:1-13 as my text. I had written a paper on this passage while at Covenant Seminary. Thus a lot of the exegetical work was already done. It also happened to be a passage that has been on my heart and mind recently. The text flowed well with their current sermon series which is ‘Following Jesus’ because the context is Jesus’ call to follow him and 9:2 says Jesus led them up the mountain.
It is hard to preach to a different culture. Things that are clear to you are not so clear to them and vice versa. This is but one reason our training at New Hope is so valuable. I pray I have been a good learner because preaching will demand this of me. I was excited and a bit relieved when after the sermon I got a great compliment. Brian, a Ugandan who came with us, told me he thought it was practical to these people. I praise God that He could use me in that situation. Just in case you were curious, a summary of the sermon I preached is that Jesus is the resurrected suffering King!
To listen to the sermon just click here. The translator is Pastor Paul who invited me to preach.
I must say that I enjoyed the experience tremendously. I hope it is the first of many times to preach in Uganda. In the meantime, I will continue to learn the culture in order to better preach the gospel. The gospel really is good news for hungry souls. Please pray I learn communicate it in a way that is understandable to those who hear it.